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Newfield State Forest

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Newfield State Forest locator map

Newfield State Forest encompasses 1,552 acres. The forest is connected to DEC's Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area which covers more than 11,000 acres.

There are no formal trail networks within the forest but hiking is allowed anywhere unless posted otherwise.

Featured Activities

Ferns in Newfield State Forest


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Primitive camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Fishing information for Central NY is available.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7R

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Many game species, such as white tail deer, fox, turkey, raccoon, mink and squirrel are found within the forest's boundaries.



General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

A snowmobile trail runs along portions of Bull Hill and Chaffee Creek Roads (see State Forest map).

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Accessible Features

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

There is a 0.8 mile trail open for all-terrain or four-wheel drive vehicle use by individuals holding a permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).


Located about 11 miles south of the City of Ithaca, Newfield State Forest is accessible from NY Route 13. From NY Route 13, turn east on Bull Hill Rd. for about 0.7 miles. Parking is available along the side of the road at the intersection of Bull Hill and Chaffee Creek roads. Bull Hill and Chaffee Creek roads are not plowed. The southeast part of the forest can be accessed by traveling south in the village of Newfield on Van Kirk Road and turning right onto Irish Hill Road.

Parking opportunities are available, and are limited mostly to the shoulder of the road.

  • Intersection of Bull Hill and Chaffee Creek Roads (42.31833°N, 76.65242°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Newfield State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Planning and Management

DEC accepted comments on the draft Newfield Unit Management Plan (UMP) through June 5, 2022. If you have questions or comments about this UMP, please email

Primitive and undeveloped, Newfield State Forest is a great place to enjoy a relatively undisturbed forest setting. A transmission gas line bisects the forest and provides a customarily traveled route for man and critter.


Present day Newfield State Forest was cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. The pace of settlement and commerce increased after the Civil War with the arrival of the Geneva, Ithaca and Sayre railroad in 1871. The first sawmill in the village of Newfield was built in 1809, followed by a gristmill machine in 1811. Unfortunately, the hilltop soils of the area are often thin, relatively steep and acidic. Early farmers found that the hilltop lands were not fit for intensive crop farming; the soils quickly lost productivity once cleared of trees.

Originally part of the Watkins and Flint purchase, about 1,443 acres of the Newfield State Forest (nearly 93%) was acquired from the federal government in January of 1956. From 1933 to 1937, as part of the Roosevelt Administration's New Deal, the federal government purchased about 8 million acres in the Southern Appalachians through what was called the sub-marginal land purchase program. The program purchased land with limited crop production capacity such as the Newfield State Forest and in some cases promoted the resettlement of farm families whose lands had been bought by the federal government.

The federal lands were planted with trees by the Civilian Conservation Corps, becoming part of the state forest system in 1956. DEC, under Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law, has been given authorization to manage lands acquired outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes. In the last several decades, time and deliberate management have transformed the Newfield State Forest into valuable open space, providing many different ecological, economic and recreational services for the people of New York State.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Ithaca, Horseheads, and Watkins Glen.

Tompkins County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guidebooks and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.